Horrors In A Halfshell: Day 9 (Big Bug Blunder)

Welcome ghost & ghouls to Horrors In A Halfshell! In this 13-part Halloween series, I'll be opening the cartoon crypt, revisiting the best and most bodacious blood-curdling episodes from the original TMNT show. Each spooky story will be dissected with the following categories:

SCARY SYNOPSIS: What is the plot of this eerie episode?
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Any iconic Halloween imagery?
MONSTERS & MUTANTS: Crazy creatures?
SPOOKIEST SCENE: A moment that gives me the heebie jeebies.
BOO! CHEESIEST MOMENT: An eye-rolling moment that makes me giggle.

13 days. 13 episodes. 13 more reasons to love Halloween.

Call an exterminator! Day 9 with Big Bug Blunder from Season 4!

While playfully horsing around, Rocksteady and Bebop accidentally cause a slew of chemicals to fall into a vat of mutagen. The combination creates a powerful substance that mutates small pests into giant insects and arachnids. Shedder and Krang use the newfound formula to take these B-movie monsters and unleash them upon New York City.

A swarm of giant bugs infests the city. This is the ultimate B-movie squeezed into a half-hour episode. Do I really need to say more?

Like any good monster movie, Big Bug Blunder has lots of monsters. Bright colors and human-like eyes are suppose to make the insects look more cartoony, but instead, the combo only heightens their squirm factor. Call an exterminator, dudes.

A fly, scorpion, wasp, mantis, and ant all get considerable scream-time. Each bug has their own moment in the spotlight, scaring the heck out of the Turtles and the people of New York. Eventually, the whole grotesque gang comes together for the episode's climax - a visual that will make your skin crawl.

Each bug reeks havoc in their own specialized way. The spookiest is the work of the wasp. The giant pest builds an enormous, hair-rasing nest on top of the Channel 6 News building. It's a hideous visual that's truly disturbing - even if it does live inside a cartoon. 

Any episode featuring huge bugs is bound to be mondo cheesy. The Turtles not only embrace the crazy story, but push it into absurd. How do our heroes fight off killer insects? The only rational way, of course - by cruising around in a giant Thanksgiving Day parade-like balloon, equipped with pesticides. The aerial battle isn't action-packed or very engaging, just eye-rolling. 

This absurd wardrobe is worth pointing out.

Ghengis Frog visits NYC wearing his Sunday's best. Throughout the entire episode, the dude wears this hideous garb while battling bugs and helping save the day. The goofy glasses and silly nose piece transform this wardrobe choice from everyday outfit to Halloween costume. Once he's done with New York's pest problem, the frog can go Trick or Treating!

Big Bug Blunder is like any B-movie. The story has its amusing moments that will have you cheering, but ultimately falls short from being a true horror classic. That said, giant bugs are still awesome! The episode is a fun bag of tricks that are only enhanced by the spooky Halloween season.

Check back tomorrow for Day 10 of Horrors In A Halfshell!


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